Healthy Living: Preventing Premature Ageing Of Your Skin

Premature ageing is the ultimate enemy of many of us. After all, we all want to look as healthy as we feel. Our range of anti-ageing products are fantastic at fighting the early signs, but their effectiveness is limited if you lead an unhealthy lifestyle. We’ve identified a few of the biggest factors in premature ageing, as well as giving you a few tips on how to avoid them.

Ageing of the skin and stress

Stress lines on skin

This one’s pretty universal. No matter your demographic, we’ve all experienced stress at some point. The lucky amongst us will only be stressed for a little while at a time, whereas for some of the more unfortunate people it can go on for months. It’s prolonged stress like this which could be doing the most damage to your skin. Essentially, stress provokes a chemical response in your body, telling to produce more cortisol and other hormones. Excess cortisol can not only weaken your immune system, but also tells your sebaceous glands to produce more oil, making your skin more prone to acne and other problems. (Although there are benefits to oily skin, too!)

Of course, the easy thing to say would be ‘avoid stress’, but we know that it’s not always that simple, especially if you’re trying to balance your work and family life. Instead, try and make sure you have enough time to switch off every day, even if it’s only half an hour before bed. Try and find the time to do little things you enjoy, like talking with your friends, taking a walk, or listening to some of your favourite music. You might be surprised at how much they take the edge off.

Sunlight and the effects on the skin

Wearing sun protection

The link between excessive sunlight and premature ageing is well known – research published in 2013 suggests that it’s responsible for around 80% of skin ageing. Ultraviolet light causes damage to our cells, changing the way they produce chemicals. When you tan, for example, it’s because your skin’s natural response to sunlight is to produce melanin, which causes your skin to darken. Excessive unprotected exposure to sunlight, however, will cause these cells to mutate or divide uncontrollably, giving rise to skin conditions. What’s more, your skin’s ability to repair itself quickly degrades under these conditions, which is one of the core factors behind premature ageing.

Happily, it’s reasonably easy to protect yourself against sunlight – we’re not necessarily saying you should lock yourself in a coffin and a high castle. simply limit the amount of time you spend outside in peak hours (especially in the summer), and make sure that you apply appropriately powerful sunscreen.

Smoking and premature ageing of your skin

cigarette smoker

It’s not big news that smoking is bad for you. Most people know about the damage it does to your lungs, but its effects on skin are not quite as well documented. The carbon monoxide from cigarettes displaces the oxygen in your skin while nicotine reduces your blood flow, leaving your skin dry, dehydrated, and sometimes discoloured. Good blood supply is vital to keeping your skin looking supple and healthy, and limiting it can also lead to other adverse effects – your skin needs oxygen-rich blood to quickly and effectively heal from damage, meaning that smoking can also potentially lead to lasting scars from what would be relatively minor scrapes. What’s more, it depletes nutrients like vitamin C that also helps with the reparation process.

Avoiding this kind of damage is the easiest one – stop smoking! We hate to sound preachy, but from our professional outlook there are literally no positive benefits that smoking can offer your skin, so in order to ensure its lasting health the only option is to stop completely.

These are far from the only factors that cause accelerated ageing of your skin – others include an imbalanced diet, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and lack of sleep. But as we’ve said in our New Year’s Resolutions blog, in the case of major lifestyle changes it’s best to tackle one at a time! If you get stuck, we’re always here to help – you can browse our range of skincare treatments, or you can always contact us on 01254 297 000 for some expert help and advice.

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